Yesterday a man had four kids with him in the mall when he decided that would be a good time to yell at me. I have no idea who he is, or what he wanted, I have no idea if he’s mad at me for the blog, or for some other reason, all I know is he was mad at me specifically, and clearly, I did something to earn it. Yes, I know people can be randomly horrid, but in this case, I may actually have deserved it, let me explain.

Before I became the ravishing creature you all know and love now, I was a bitch. I said and did a lot of things, while in the throws of trying to survive my own trauma, and I didn’t pay attention to the people around me, or the ones who needed help.

I was so busy trying to dodge abusers – and no this isn’t an excuse, but guys OFTEN saw me as a victim and went out of their way to victimize me, and so for years two things would happen simultaneously:

  • I would forget what happened almost immediately after I was safe again
  • I would shut down and refuse to talk about whatever happened, closing myself away and hiding my tears from anyone who loved or cared enough to ask what was wrong.

So for a lot of years, I was walking around in this kind of haze not fully understanding my power or my strength, and hurting a lot of people, often with my voice, but sometimes with a slap (she called me a nigger, she deserves it,) and I’m only starting to acknowledge today, because a man with four kids beside him yelled at me and I don’t fully know why.

I have no memory of this man or his children, and I have no recognition skills when it comes to people who have not sexually assaulted me. I remember the ones who abused me, but I don’t often remember the men who were nice to me, and even if I do, when I’m in public, if I don’t feel safe, relying on my “I really don’t remember you skills,” often sets off my fight or flight sector in my brain, and I often end up running away.

I don’t need to see a doctor about this because let’s be honest, not remembering a man who’s willing to yell at you in front of his kids for a reason you’ve repeatedly said you don’t know, isn’t really the worst thing in the world. What I hate is that this person is clearly in pain, and I did something to activate that pain and I don’t know what it is.

So I’ll say this if you see this and you want to sit down and talk I promise you I’ll listen, but I won’t be yelled at, not by a man, never again.

I spent 35 years being yelled at by men, slapped, grabbed, raped, tortured, and sexually abused, pick any word and they all fucking apply and I have the scars to prove it, I WILL NOT BE YELLED AT BY A MAN, EVER AGAIN. That’ll be the end, I’ll walk away and if you ever see me again I WON’T Know you.

When men and women are angry, they often don’t think about emotional regulation, unless it’s something they deliberately make a part of their routine. I’m only just now at 39 learning what my triggers are. I don’t know how to regulate my triggers yet, I don’t have enough practice with mindfulness and with setting new routines, and combating triggers, in order for me to be able to snap my fingers and behave “normally.”

So yesterday when I saw this man and he yelled at me, I just felt super calm, maybe it was because of the kids, maybe because we were in public, but I just wasn’t interested in giving him the reaction that he wanted. At one point I told him I’d sit with him and talk to him, but that I wouldn’t yell and he said “So you can yell at me?” lordy, y’all. The way words work I tell you.

As a patient with mental health issues, who is still being cared for under the Mental Health Act (which is a bunch of bullshit let me tell you,), I can honestly say that if you want to have a better world then we absolutely need to start with communication.

Communication skills are not learned in schools and they should be, because unless you learn how to understand perspective and perception along with language and communication skills, separately these sets of skills will do nothing but collide and combust.

This is what I’m learning by studying my own emotional regulation, and I’d love to know what you’re learning about yours because I’m starting to realize that I am only scratching the surface of what my brain needs to go through when it comes to healing from all the shit.

Again for whatever I did, if I ever made you feel like you were unimportant or unloved if I ever looked down on you or acted in a way that was less than polite, I apologize, sincerely, and. if you come to my face to face, human to human and say “I’d love to chat wth you,” I’ll talk to you, honestly, from an entirely different place than I was 8 years ago, but PLEASE remember…I don’t remember a lot from those years prior o starting this blog.

I remember a LOT of abuse and what people have done to me, but like all people who are assholes, I have a bunch of stuff I KNOW I did wrong, that I don’t understand, can’t explain, and don’t remember, so you may have to remind me…HOW you choose to remind me is up to you, but I’ll promise you this…I’ll meet you where you meet me.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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